12/03/2011 11:42 EST | Updated 02/02/2012 05:12 EST

N.W.T. Boasts All-Female Superior Court


The Northwest Territories is now the only jurisdiction in Canada to have an all-female superior court, following Friday's appointment of Shannon Smallwood to the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories.

Smallwood is the first female aboriginal justice in the territory's history, according to the territorial Department of Justice.

It is also the first time the territory's superior court has had all female justices.

Smallwood previously worked as a Crown Prosecutor in Yellowknife, where she was admitted to the bar in 2000.

Smallwood, who originally hails from Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., is taking Justice Virginia Schuler's position.

Schuler, in turn, is now the court's senior judge.

The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories is a superior court of record and has jurisdiction in both civil and criminal matters — except those expressly excluded by statute — and is based in Yellowknife.